23/06/2014 Midlands Today


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Historic and poignant as thd old Staffords march through thehr county


You are always sad to see a battalion go.


We'll be asking what it means for jobs and how it'll


Concern over the number of xoung people heading to the Middld East to


Glad he got a second opinion ` the former detective who found out his


hamstring trouble was a massive tumour.


I was a very active policem`n until that point. It was a bolt ott of the


blue. Landing a big one in Wimbledon


fortnight. The company that supplies The temperatures aren't the only


thing that are red hot. Bewdley's ablaze with


poppies this season. Are we destined for more sunshine


this week? Find out later. Good evening. Soldiers from the 3rd


Battalion of the Mercian Regiment held their final parade in Stafford


today, before it's disbanded. Formerly the Staffordshire Regiment,


the 3rd Battalion, The Merchan Regiment was formed in 2007,


recruiting soldiers from Staffordshire, the West Midlands and


Birmingham. Since then, thex've spent a total of two and a half


years on operations in Afgh`nistan. But in 2012, the Government


announced the 3rd battalion would be disbanded by 2016 as part of the


restructuring of the British Army. Today was a day of mixed emotions


as Lindsay Doyle reports. Welcomed back to Stafford whth


pride. The mersian Regiment, the first of a series of parades


marching through the unit's hometown, to celebrate its return


from Afghanistan. They do a wonderful jobment they are tnder


recognised for the achievemdnts and the efforts they put in. Thdy look


lovely. Yeah, very smart. So proud. They have done us, oh just


unbelievable. I'm so emotional. Today has been particularly


poignant. In line with Army 202 which sees the restructuring of the


British Army, the third Mercian is being disbanded. It will merge with


the other two Mercians. This is really a merger. The 1st Battalion


will be the armoured infantry ba ttalion and the second one hn


Chester. A huge opportunity for the soldiers. The parades are a chance


for the soldiers to show how the traditions and ties to the community


won't be forgotten. The homd coming parades are an important. A chance


to say thank you to the towns who supported them whilst in


Afghanistan. 90% of the reghment is recruited from from the West


Midlands. The support we have had from the local community, across


Staffordshire has been tremdndous. It was a long tour. The parcels and


letters that came from the locals was just fan TAs UK and meant so


much to me and my soldiers. The end of the week will see the end of an


era as the final march will take the regiment from Lichfield Cathedral to


the city's King's Head pub where the regiment was formed in 1705. Steeped


in history, it is adapting to the future.


Joining us now from Westminster is the Labour MP for Birminghal


Edgbaston, Gisela Stuart, who sits on the Defence Select Committee


A sad day this? The regiment has done a tremendous job and the


restructuring is something we have got to make sure we get right. We're


replacing many regular soldhers with reservists and I'm not sure that's


the right structure to go for. This is a good source of jobs


disappearing, isn't it? Armx 20 0 envisages the regular Army goes down


to 82,500 from over 100,000 and the recruitment process for the


reservists which is a good process, but A, the numbers aren't coming


forward. The process of recruiting aren't recruiting. We have reached a


level where the British Armx can't be cut any further if we want it to


do the job the country wants it to do. Coalition had to make so many


cuts in so many places, what's the option? You either cut and have a


strategic vision and the wax the Defence Committee criticised, but


the Public Accounts Committde criticised this latest


restructuring, it was driven by money. It started off by how much


money we had and then we cut the numbers. Given that we are `n


island, there are certain requirements which you thought in


the national interests have to be there. Most people are unnerved It


is a volatile time in the world that the Army or armed servhces are


a shadow of what they used to be? The only glimmer of hope is a cross


party commitment that we wotld go on meeting the 2% spending on GDP on


defence which is part of our NATO commitment and I hope the cross


party consensus on that will hold because it is vital both for the


country, but also, for us as part of the North Atlantic alliance.


Thanks for joining us here on Midlands Today.


Coming up later in the programme:


why scientists they may havd found a way one day to make bendy mobiles!


A Birmingham MP says he belheves as many as 1500 Britons may have joined


Muslim extremists fighting hn Syria and Iraq. Khalid Mahmood's dstimate


is more than three times higher than any official Government figtre.


I spoke to him earlier about why he believed so many young men


A conservative estimate would be around 1500 young people out there.


That's if you want to defind that, you look at the British Syrhan


community and the Kurdish community and the South East Asian and the


north and east African commtnity here and a fair group of those young


people have gone from here. You are looking at a three year span. If you


break it down to 500 per ye`r they would easily reach that. Do you


think this is a serious thrdat to security on our streets? I think


they will be a serious thre`t. I'm not saying all the people rdturning


are want to take up arms or do something here. But there whll be a


number of people who will w`nt to do that, just the number coming back,


just because of the quantitx of it, a small percentage will be `


significant security risk. H have had two young people at Birlingham


City University who last ye`r went out. Within six months of somebody


making contact with them, two them, being radicalised in this country


over six months, one left a letter for his mother saying that he is


going to Syria. That's how ht can happen. As far as the parents were


concerned, they were going to university and doing the right thing


and doing all the right things to support them. So there are really


difficulties that we need to address and that has been combined with the


community and the Security Services. If you see the activity going on,


please report it to the polhce and Security Services to help them


ensure that we cut down on this Counter`terrorism officers hn the


West Midlands are investigating two possible cases involving yotng men


form the region who may havd travelled to Syria. The latdst


involves Coventry teenager. Our Reporter Ben Godfrey is in our


Coventry studio for us now. So Ben what more do we know about his


case? In March an 18`year`old went missing


and we know that West Midlands counter`terrorism unit are


investigating amid allegation that he could be in Syria with ISIS. The


police haven't given us his name. I have been speaking to the Coventry


Muslim Forum who say if the allegation are true, they are


concerned. Some teenagers are feeling ail yaen ated `` alhenated.


I wish that all youth growing up a will attend Madrasas in the UK


because by doing so they will learn the right Islamic teaching `nd


principles and uphold it and will practise Islam in the best way


possible. They will then distinguish wh ha is good news and what is bad


news in terms of who will influence their future. That sounds lhke the


view of moderate Muslims, Bdn. Where do we think the extreme views are


coming from? Well, one view is that it is coming from the internet. A


self radicalisation at home rather than the mosque. Last week we told


you about a 20`year`old frol Birmingham, he skipped bail and


ended up in Syria uploading pictures of himself with ISIS. An expert told


us in Birmingham today that to suggest the internet is a source of


radicalisation is probably wide off the mark. It is certainly a factor,


but it is simplistic to see it as the sole driver of this. Thdre is a


history of people going abroad to fight in conflicts. Bosnia, Libya,


Kashmir, but in the 1930s, xou had 2,000 British men who went to fight


in the Spanish Civil War. There wasn't social media around `t that


time. It is not certain that these latest investigations involve


extremist activities committed, but the authorities are watching. This


year alone in the West Midl`nds at least five men and women from


Birmingham have been charged with terror related offence ins Syria,


but it is a small proportion of the arrests made in the last 18 months.


A seven`year`old boy is being treated in hospital after hd was


dragged under a car for 50 feet following a crash in Birmingham It


happened during this morning's rush hour on Nineveh Road in Handsworth.


The boy suffered multiple injuries. His mother, and her four other


children, were also injured in the crash and were treated at the scene.


Security has been increased at Perry Park in Birmingham after tednagers


threatened and robbed peopld with a ball`bearing gun. There've been


three similar incidents over the past few weeks. Police belidve the


robberies are linked and ard looking for two Somalian youths aged between


One of the founders of the 0960s counterculture magazine Oz, has died


Felix Dennis was a key figure in the magazine's high`profhle


obscenity trial in 1971, before re`inventing himself as a poet. His


family said he'd died from cancer at his Warwickshire home. He w`s 6 .


It was nearly six years ago that Nigel began building his vegetable


patch. Afterwards, when he went to get fo the shower, he noticdd the


muscle in his leg seemed larger The tumour was 12 centimetres and he is


lucky to be able to enjoy the fruits of his labour. I have got a great


deal to be thankful for to be honest. I really got no major


symptoms. Yes, I get discomfort and minor issues, but compared to having


no leg, it is a no brainer, I think, really. At the Royal orthop`edic


hospital they want to improve diagnosis. He had insurance


otherwise he would have waited six weeks for his scan which wotld have


been too late. It takes thrde to four visits to a GP to get tested.


We found there was no changd in 25 years in the average size of soft


tissue sarcomas. Even though early diagnosis guidelines were sdnt to


GPs, nothing has happened ddspite that. Most sarcomases in thd UK


don't get discovered until they are this size, the size of a baked bean


can. We want to get to this size, the size of a golf ball and that's


the message that's been sent out to GPs. Richard was at the hospital


today to speed up recognition. The Paralympian lost two legs to the


disease. I have empathy with patients who lose their limbs due


sarcomas. Nigel is take ago golf ball and information pack into his


GP and hopes others will have an easier path than he did.


Scientists at Keele Univershty in Staffordshire think they've found a


way ` one day ` to make electronic devices, such as televisions and


mobile phones ` flexible. They say their work could eventually provide


a cheaper alternative to tr`ditional silicon technology. Our scidnce


correspondent David Gregory`Kumar is here to tell us more.


So David what have the rese`rchers done?


Next tonight the story of the First World War soldiers fighting for a


I have been playing around with this. This is a ball of 60 carbon


atoms and it is the same structure as a tra dushgal football ``


traditional football. What the researchers at Keele have bden doing


is give this ball an even longer tail of carbon atoms. With ` few


tweaks you can change that. You start playing around with the


structure of these bits herd, you can actually then make much larger


Assemblies too. We can have gels. They contain fibres about the same


thickness of my hair. Within the hair strand as it were or gdl fibre,


you have got lots of C`60 columns. Here is the doctor creating some of


this gel. Now, if we look at it under a microscope, we can see some


of the new fibres inside thd gel itself. If you tweak the chdmistry


more, you can start to create regular sheets of these carbon balls


and tails and what you get hs a material that's flexible and


conducts electricity and it behaves like silicon. Silicon is so


fantastic in electronic circuitry, but we are reaching the limhts as to


what silicon can do. We need to look to other materials, I'm not saying


this is going to offer the alternative to that material, but I


think that the method assembling that molecule is important. This


model has bendy TV screens. To make things like this, you are going to


need flexible screens and ndxtable components and this opens up new


ways of how we can make the materials for a future bendx


television or phone. The old Staffords march through


their county town one last time I will have the latest on the


weather. Also, inspired by top athletes,


hundreds of schoolchildren join in the countdown to next month's


Commonwealth Games. Next tonight the story of the First


World War soldiers fighting for a country they'd never set foot in.


Tens of thousands of Sikhs travelled from India to play a vital part in


the British war effort in Ttrkey, Egypt and Europe. Many of their


descendants are now settled here in the Midlands. But some feel their


sacrifice hasn't been properly In the Punjab in Northern India they


found willing volunteers. The Sikh had proven himself to be thd most


staunchiest, the most bravest, the first versatile prolific soldier


that the British Army had come across. Jack's grandfather, pictured


on the left, aged just 15, was one of those to answer the call. My


grandfather, he was already eager to go. Two previous generations already


in the Army, fighting, soldhering battles, that was already in his


DNA. He wasn't alone, to begin with 35,000 Sikhs fought beneath the


British flag, by war's enit was over 100,000 `` end, it was over 100 000.


In Birmingham, the film is hn production highlighting what some


call a hidden history. It is a story that's not been told in its


entirity, but `` entirety, but something we can be passion`te and


inspired by as third generation British Asians. Our forefathers


fought in the Great War. We are ready to fight and do our bht. I'm


proud that we did or my ancdstors did and my tribe did it so H'm proud


in saying that we stood for the right reasons. As the war goes on,


they realise they need something thicker. The kit issued to Sikh


troops offered scant protection from the freezing mud of the French


trenches. The actual Indian officers were complaining about the


situation. But as usual, thdy get dismissed because they are not


British troops. That's the way they are looking at them which is an


awful shame. The men are fighting and dying just the same as dverybody


else. In Coventry, Jack's hometown, a


memorial commemorates the Shkh contribution. It is inaccessible


though, tucked away on a busy roundabout and some feel thdirs is a


sacrifice often forgotten. Today, in modern Britain we simply have no


recognition of this phenomenal contribution of people who hadn t


even set foot in Britain and yet were fighting for Britain. Sikh


tradition has it to die on ` battlefield is an honour. Thousands


did just that. Wimbledon started today with Dan


Evans in action alongside Andy Murray on the opening day. How is


Dan getting on? Started badly, but is improving. We can brung xou


up`to`date with how Dan Evans is getting on. It started badlx. He was


6`1 down in just 19 minutes. The second set got better. After an


early break, down. The third set was best of all. He won that 6`3. He is


doing OK and he is back in the match after a terrible start. He never


reached the second round? No, never beforeful he had a great run in the


US Open where he got to the third round, but he never got to the third


round at Wimbledon. Let's hope he can do better. You can see the match


live on the Red Button. Andx Murray got off to a flying start bx winning


his first match on Centre Court He is not the only one hoping for a


profitable fortnight with btsinesses looking to cash in on the most


famous tennis tournament in the world.


What does salmon fillets on a giant artwork have in common? The waiting


is over! Yes, it is Wimbledon and the and the Severn and Wye Smokery,


Wimbledon means salmon. Thotsands and thousands of them being prepared


to the exacting standards expected by the tennis going public. We do


smoked salmon, and cold smoked salmon and this year, a special


salmon using a seaweed cure on the fish.


I started at 5.30am. We will be finished by 5pm this afternoon. No


problems. Up the motorway, hn Worcester, it has been just as busy.


They have been commissioned to create an artwork which the public


will colour in. It is reallx exciting for us to be working from


our studio and getting so mtch interest. At the smokery, they are


working 12 hour days to fulfil their contribute with Wimbledon. Wimbledon


is a great British instituthon, isn't it? We're a great British


industry and you know, it's a great privilege for us to be invited to


supply, yeah. Tomorrow's order for Wimbledon will be leaving hdre later


today, but it might be a little light. But there is still more than


enough to serve the crowds `nd all we need now is for Andy Murray to


serve up a few aces. There is more about how the winners


trophies were made in Birmingham. With the Commonwealth Games a month


away, hundreds of schoolchildren in Birmingham spent the day ushng it as


inspiration to find a sport they love. The Games could help hn the


classroom because education experts claim taking part in compethtive


sport helps children get better grades.


He 700 children from 20 prilary schools across Birmingham. @ll


loving a chance to get out of the classroom and into action. This is


national schools sport Week. It is designed to get young children of


all and abilities a taste of as many sports as possible. We are not here


to push kids. That's not wh`t it is about. There are so many different


sports out there. I really believe there is a sport or an activity for


everybody. Taking part is one thing, making sure they enjoy it is the


most important part of the plan I liked doing it. It makes me stronger


and I feel better. I enjoy ht so much that I would do it all my life.


On a scale of one to ten, about ten. An event like this isn't just great


for getting the kids playing sport, Ofsted said there is a link between


achievement and competitive sport. One great school I saw after the


exam they took part in sport. Release and relax after you have


done your exams. Having really great PE teachers and great staff who are


really enthusiastic about staff is the key to this working. With just a


month to go before the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, every school had a


country to represent. With two Commonwealth champions to encourage


them as well, the hope is that educational and athletic inspiration


will follow. Some disastrous news about Dngland


cricket. Chasing 250 to win. 57`5. England are, but Moeen Ali hasn t


gone in yet. Moeen Ali of Worcestershire, good luck to him!


Time for the weather now. It has been another mainly stunning day


unless you experience that had unbelievable storm in Gloucdster.


A day that's produced some of the highest temperatures this ydar. So


particularly so for southern counties. The values were vdrging on


hot in Worcestershire. That has taken its toll on pollen levels


which soared as a result of the sunshine and the warmth.


Unfortunately for those to drop we have to see a change this


conditions. I think we will see those during the second half of the


week. High pressure is going to give way to low pressure and that


unfortunately is going to bring with it cooler conditions and also some


showers perhaps and rain as well by Friday. If we look at that, we can


see that the high pressure hs already showing signs of giving way


as this cold front starts to slip southwards and this is why we are


seeing the thunderstorms brdak out across parts of Gloucestershire So


here and southern counties through this even and the first part of


tonight, we will see heavy downpours, but there will bd a more


substantial system that's moving in from the West and clipping the parts


of the south later in the wdek. That's on Friday and that's going to


bring in more substantial r`infall. Tonight, it is drying up. Wd have


got clearing skies, but there will abbit of cloud `` will be a bit of


cloud to hold the temperatures up to 13 Celsius. Still warm. The coolest


spot will be the south`west where temperatures drop to 10 Celsius We


could see some isolated mist patches developing into the morning


tomorrow, but under the strdngth of the sunshine which will bre`kthrough


by daybreak it should disperse quickly. So it is another vdry


pleasant day for most of it, it is largely dry with sunny spells. The


cloud starting to drift southwards during the afternoon as another


system starts to roll in from the north and this is just going to lead


to some fairly sharp showers breaking out across parts of the


north`east. They are largelx light and they are not particularly heavy,


but for most of us, dry and temperatures rising to 20 or 22


Celsius. Temperatures dropphng to 10 Celsius widely and this is going to


ring the changes for the rest of the week. Chilly nights and chilly


starts, but largely dry. The headlines:


A third British Jihadist fe`tured in an ISIS video urging Muslims to


travel to Iraq has named locally. The old Staffords march through


their county town one last time That's it for now. I will bd back at


10pm with your latest updatd.


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